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April 17, 2021

MY BIG FAMILY IS DRIVING ME CRAZY!!!

Hey Brandon,

I really need help. I have three siblings and they all give me a really hard time. We’re doing the self-isolation thing and now it’s worse than ever! I love my sisters and brother and I know I should feel happy living with them but they’re so loud and always in my business and teasing me! Honestly, I sometimes wish I lived with just my grandparents like you! Help!!!

So Sick Of Siblings!

What’s Up So Sick Of Siblings,

Wow, THREE siblings can be A LOT. And with them all home all the time now…I bet it feels like there are SIX of them! 

Let’s talk about the special circumstances of self-isolation first. (Then we’ll get to the normal ways they drive you crazy.)

So everybody’s cooped up and frustrated and dealing with this super sudden change in routine. This means NOBODY is at their best. We’re all irritating each other more than usual. (And before self-isolation, you probably didn’t think it was POSSIBLE for your siblings to irritate you any more than they already do!)

We’re also probably all looking for ways to feel normal. So if your siblings are used to teasing you, they’re probably going to tease you more than ever. If they’re used to being loud and rambunctious, well, turn that volume up even more. 

This…is a bummer. But hopefully in these weird circumstances, everyone is also more aware than usual that everyone’s under stress. Maybe that means now would actually be a good time to express how you feel and try to make some changes.

You can’t change the fact that there are seven kids in the family. (Since you have so many siblings, I’m assuming the older ones will probably be moving out at some point.) And you can’t change their personalities or how they interact with each other. So when it comes to the part where they’re loud and rambunctious, I think that’s on you to figure out a way to deal. 

Maybe that means asking your mom or dad for permission to retreat to your bedroom when things get loud. Maybe that means spending your savings on noise-cancelling headphones. Maybe that means getting outside and riding a bike or doing something else you enjoy (or just sitting on the porch steps) when inside is too much to handle. 

Now let’s talk about the teasing. Under normal circumstances, I believe in standing up for yourself, but I also know it’s probably not realistic to ask your siblings not to tease you. Like…I think that’s just part of the deal with siblings? 

But right now, these are not normal circumstances. With self-isolation, I think a family meeting might be in order. You could talk to your parents first and ask them to call it. During the meeting, I think you can tell your family (and especially your siblings) that you’re feeling a lot of stress from self-isolation, and being the target of their teasing makes it worse. Ask if they could try not to tease you so much right now. Ask if there’s anything they need from you. I bet at least some of your siblings will admire your guts and honesty try to make a change.

No one doubts that you love your siblings, and it’s totally normal to be frustrated with them. ESPECIALLY now. But there must be good parts about having siblings, right? I know there are days I would definitely switch places with you! If only that were possible. 

Do you have a big family or a small one? Do you sometimes wish you had a larger or smaller family? How do you handle teasing? Tell us in the comments.